V4 An Honest Review From A Sceptic

Discussion in '899 / 959 / 1199 / 1299 / V4 Panigale' started by Advikaz, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. I just want to start off by saying that I don’t buy in to ‘launch fever’. It’ll probably be noted on this forum that I’ve been fairly on the fence and sceptical about the new v4.

    Anyway I’m a current 1299 owner and I have had the v4 for the day today (covering varied roads and a fair few miles) and just wanted to share my thoughts and observations of the bike, keeping to the facts and not too much opinion.

    I’ll start off with the motor, which at low revs sounds a bit like a monster onboard (no bad thing). Throttle input is better than the outgoing bike and more responsive. The motor spins up very quickly and has a smoother broader range to it.
    To me it feels like the v4 has more usable power for the road and is certainly far less of a handful.
    As for speed, anyone who says that this bike ‘feels’ ballistically quick clearly hasn’t ridden an s1000rr or 1299 at its full pottential. It is fast, very in fact however it doesn’t have the rush that some other litre bikes have. It’s very refined though and makes its power in a productive less dare I say it ‘thrilling way’.. for me it feels like a 1299 & a s1000rr’s love child..
    I’m not slating the motor, it’s a good engine but it is very different from what we know of big Ducati’s which may put some off.
    I have to admit I did miss the lack of engine braking on corner entry!

    Electronics/interface: the dash is very good, a real step up as are the controls. The abs and t/c are very good and don’t come in too hard like they do on some bikes.

    Quickshifter/clutch/gearbox: The clutch biting point in my opinion is obsurdly far out, like the whole travel of the lever out, I thought I was trying to pull away in neutral ha! Also I have to say and I know this has already been mentioned by some journo’s but the quickshifter has got its issues. It’s okay right at the top end although not ultimately as crisp as a bmw’s or the 1299’s. However it does have this odd almost old school automatic type feeling to it sometimes where it feels like it’s cut the ignition and is waiting for the gear, it’s like it can’t keep up and it’s pretty frustrating to be frank, the motor goes flat and feels like you’re in the limiter... it also causes the bike to shimmy on corner exit which isn’t ideal. It’s not just this bike I was speaking to the duc tech’s in my dealer and they’ve admitted to me that all the bikes they’ve pdi’d are the same and they’ve noticed it sometimes on downshifts as well.. it’s worth noting though guys as you WILL notice it and it is annoying! Although it did get less of an issue the more I rode it, it was still very much there I just got used to it. For track I think you’ll be wanting to upgrade the shifter to an aftermarket jobby, it’ll piss you off! It got to the point where I tried clutch shifting. But that was jerky as fuck!
    It’s okay around town on a steady throttle but on acceleration it’ll do the above as well. It’s buttery smooth on a steady throttle.
    Also there’s a strange clattering when you shut the throttle, it’s a bit off putting, feels like chain slap but upsets the bike on corner entry (could just be this bike).

    Handling: sublime, very very easy to ride. Fills you with confidence even on a 5degree day it just inspires you to give it more and more, this bike could be a real licence looser as it rarely feels like you’re doing the speeds you are. However and unlike the old panigales you can actually ride this bike at lower speeds and it not do your head in! You can also hold a fairly good constant 50 or 70 on it which was a pain for me on other panigales.
    It is more refined than the outgoing bike and definitely a lot more planted and stable in pretty much all areas.
    The counter rotating crank isn’t a gimmick, it does work. If you put it in neutral and rev it, the bike visibly hunches at the front, this can be felt on fast roads as the front end is nowhere near as flighty. The front end is more planted all together and inspires more confidence than the previous bike which felt a bit vague, not ideal.

    Suspension: ride is fantastic for a sport bike. What do you expect for a top line set of ohlins ?

    Ergo’s: I’m 6ft3 and found it spacious, feels like the pegs are slightly higher, but nothing to cause any issues. Felt like less weight on my wrists. The new tank although I don’t like the look of it is a revelation in terms of grip, the old bikes tank was a bitch to grip, this is far better and really helps corner stability for the rider and under braking!
    The seat is flatter and more comfortable as well.

    Brakes: superb! Absolutely superb. The best I’ve ever sampled. But then the 1299’s where mega too. The v4 is far more stable under braking. I had the rear wheel off the ground frequently in to bends on the camber/Rye road and there was none of the arse twitch you got from the old bike.

    I’m no journalist, but this is what I’ve taken from the bike today, I don’t think in all I’d bother upgrading my 1299 just yet, I think the v4 will be a brilliant bike but has its issues which need addressing as it’s not the perfect finished product yet in my opinion.

    Riders will likely find themselves faster on the v4 as it’s simply far easier to ride. Far more forgiving and far less hard work.. for some this is a shame because if you’re like me you like a ‘mans bike’ that puts hairs on your chest? But as a tool there’s no doubt that this new v4 is definitely a step in the right direction in terms of dynamics and usability.





    #1 Advikaz, Feb 24, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
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  2. Good review thanks

    I still can’t get away with the looks of it though
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  3. Thanks Adam. The line that caught my eye there was 'the front hunches when revved in neutral' That's impressive and an endorsement to the counter rotating crankshaft.
    I run a 1098R for track and I've never felt compelled to get anything new... Until now... I think this new V4 bike will be boss. As you'll know the 1098R is as raw as they come. A total fekkin hooligan and no mistake. The engine is a masterpiece but a bloody handful and takes a more skilled pilot than me to make the most of it.
    I really fancied a crack with a powerful, digital bike. I'll find out soon enough if the R is an animal of a bike that needs plenty of skill to ride fast or I'm simply just a shite rider, ha ha... If I can't improve lap times on the V4 I'm obviously the latter.... Pretty confident I'll be quicker though.
    I'm really excited about getting it though. But it'll be some time before it's ready- bodywork, paint job, total track prep, full zorst system and upmap and, and a sack full of dosh. Skint again....
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  4. You took the words right out of my mouth
  5. Nice writeup.
  6. Did you park outside Costa and survey the MILFs if they are more likely to put out? Be honest, that's what we all really want to know :innocent:
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  7. Haha

    It didn’t have the same knicker dropping facility the earlier pani’s have for sure
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  8. Ask a honda VFR800 owner for a rough idea
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  9. Well that settles it then.
  10. You need some Bling on it mate:):upyeah:
  11. A pic of it with bins would have given your review more credibility!
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  12. Does that count when it isn’t mine?
  13. It was your's for the day. Surely the dealer had bins. Poor show
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  14. nice write up. Shame about the pics - it doesn't look too good from those angles - that's saying something when I have one in my garage:)
  15. Not to be rude my man, but the looks still haven’t grown on me. I’ll agree they don’t photo well and I know this is subjective but it’s a bit of a funny looking thing.

    I’ll counter that by saying that out of the box it’s probably the most confidence inspiring bike I’ve ever ridden. It absolutely applauds you to take the piss!

    Shame the quickshifter kind of ruins the experience though.

    I can’t wait to see the next generation of the v4, for a first attempt it’s such a good base to build on. With a few tweaks (cosmetically for many and it doesn’t need much to be fair to make it work) and a few technical tweaks and it’s going to be unreal!
  16. Good write up,thanks
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  17. Really enjoyed reading your write up @Advikaz... Interesting to hear your comments re: the quickshifter too. The V4's aren't exactly cheap and at the price point they are, I would be a little disappointed if I took delivery of one and the QS annoyed me!

    It will be interesting to see what owners make of it and have to say as more bikes are delivered throughout the year...
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  18. I must be missing something as I don't think it looks much different to the 1199 or the 1299 panigales, apart from having a much longer tidy tail which will be the first thing I will be dumping wen I get mine the end of the march, I will also be designing a new paint job as I did with my xdiavel
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  19. As mentioned in a post on another thread, the V4 does look better in the flesh... They look very different to the V2 Panigales though, a bit of a beauty and the beast scenario for me after seeing them side by side at Ducati Peterborough on Thursday.





    & The beast




    I do think there's a possibility the V4's will grow on me as time goes by though (just like the 999's have)
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  20. Mmmm, the 999 grew on people because it was a shock to the system at the time, following the 916 shape it was next gen but ahead of it's time stylistically and it came into it's own eventually - being the base for the most stunning race bike Ducati have ever made bar none too.
    The V4 is like child's rendering of a V2 Pani who cannot draw and doesn't have a hope in hell of convincing people in the future.

    Ducati missed a trick here I think, keeping to basic Pani lines and wrecking the overall look, whilst also keeping the Pani name. At such a major cross roads they should have started afresh with style and name imho :thinkingface: just like they did with the 999 :motorcycleduc:
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